The aftermath of a truck accident is often chaotic, confusing, and overwhelming. From the scene itself to mounting medical bills, emotional trauma, and physical pain, victims are left to pick up the pieces of their lives — all while being expected to navigate a complex system of insurance companies and legal proceedings. Fortunately, help is available and you don’t need to face this challenge alone.
At Shrable Law Firm, our Albany personal injury lawyers provide compassionate and honest legal counsel and representation to accident victims and their families. With a strong track record of successfully handling truck accident cases, we’re prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovery.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers, complete our online contact form or call (229) 349-6291.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck accidents are generally caused by one of four factors: driver error, company negligence, equipment failure, and driving conditions. In many cases, it can be a combination of all four.
Driver error is often caused by truckers who are fatigued, distracted, impaired, or reckless. When truck drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, they put everyone around them in danger.
Most truck drivers are responsible and take their job seriously. However, even the most skilled and experienced drivers can be pushed to their limits by an employer who isn’t up to code with the industry’s legal standards. Drivers may be pushed to work longer hours than what’s deemed safe, or they might be inadequately trained in proper safety protocols.
Trucking companies are also responsible for taking the necessary steps to make sure their vehicles are safe to operate. Equipment failure, such as worn brakes or faulty tires, can lead to deadly accidents if the company fails to inspect and repair its vehicles regularly. The manufacturer of the truck may also be held liable if they produced a defective product.
Extreme weather conditions can make roads more hazardous for truck drivers. Poorly maintained roads or debris in the road can further increase the risk of a truck accident. Drivers should be trained to recognize and safely navigate hazardous situations, but sometimes these skills aren’t enough to avoid a crash.
Common truck accident injuries
Commercial trucks are some of the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the roads. When an accident occurs, the damage and resulting injuries can be catastrophic.
Common physical injuries resulting from truck accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Burn injuries
These injuries can lead to long-term physical and emotional trauma. Victims may incur expensive medical bills, miss work, or they might be unable to return to the same line of work. Even if the original injury was rather minor, victims can be left with debilitating chronic pain that can have drastic effects on their daily lives.
The emotional burden of the accident can be just as traumatic as the physical injuries. Victims may experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions. These conditions can be difficult to overcome without specialized help.
Due to the large size and weight of a truck, truck accidents can be fatal causing families to be left with financial and emotional burdens. While no amount of money can undo the hurt and loss those families experience, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can help families get the closure and support they need.
What to do after a truck accident
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident can significantly impact the outcome of any legal action that may follow.
First, call 911 to have police and medical personnel go to the accident. Seek medical attention as soon as possible including by a doctor after the paramedics have done a cursory evaluation. Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured or injured at all, it’s important to be evaluated because some injuries won’t immediately present symptoms, especially not while you’re in a state of shock.
Many injuries such as whiplash, traumatic brain injury, or internal organ damage might not present immediate symptoms and might not be seen by others (including paramedics), but they can still have serious long-term effects. Getting medical help right away can also provide you with a record of your injuries for potential legal action.
If the scene is safe and you’re able to safely move while waiting for emergency medical personnel, document the accident as best you can. Try and gather the following:
- Contact information from witnesses
- Name and insurance information of any drivers who were involved in the accident
- Photos and videos of the scene including damage to vehicles, debris in the road, skid marks, and any other relevant details
- If you have any visible injuries, take photos of them, too
The police report will be a crucial source of evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. The report will include details such as the time and location of the accident, road conditions, vehicle information, and statements from drivers. Answer their questions to the best of your ability, and when you’re more clear-headed after the accident, you can call to provide them with supplemental information.
After you have attended to your immediate medical needs, contact an experienced truck accident attorney. An Albany personal injury lawyer can review the details of the accident and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Lastly, be sure to call your car insurance company. You’ll need to make a claim with your own insurance company before you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t provide a statement or agree to any settlement without first consulting with an attorney. If they continue to contact you, refer them to your attorney because all communication should go through them.
When to file a claim
The sooner you file a claim after a truck accident, the better. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Georgia is two years, meaning you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This timeline can be complicated by factors such as the age of the victim (minors have a different timeline) and when you discover an injury, so it’s best to consult an attorney early on.
While two years may seem like plenty of time, it’s best to err on the side of caution and file as soon as possible. Evidence and witness testimony can be difficult to obtain after months or years have elapsed. Additionally, your attorney needs ample time to build a strong case.
If it’s been a while since your accident, it’s still worth consulting a qualified truck accident lawyer in Albany to see if you have a case.
Damages you may be able to recover
If you’re successful in your personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for damages. In a personal injury claim, these damages are awarded to the victim to make up for the losses they’ve suffered.
While the exact amount of compensation varies and depends on the specifics of your case, victims often receive a combination of economic damages and non-economic damages. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Economic damages are awarded to compensate a victim for the financial losses they’ve incurred due to the accident. From hospital bills to medications, economic damages often cover the cost of medical care related to the accident. They may also cover future medical costs, such as rehabilitation and long-term care if needed.
Other forms of economic damages include lost wages (including reduced earning capacity), property damage, and the cost of hiring help to perform tasks you’re unable to perform on your own due to your injuries. These damages are generally simple to calculate, with owed amounts determined based on receipts, bills, and other concrete documents.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate victims for the physical, emotional, and psychological pain they’ve suffered due to the accident. This can include compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring or disfigurement, and other subjective matters.
These damages are harder to quantify, with awards often determined by the judge or jury based on the severity of your injuries and how they’ve impacted your daily life, and evidence such as witness and expert testimony, medical records, and supporting case law presented by your attorney.
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to punish a defendant (the individual or entity responsible for the accident) for gross negligence or intentional harm. Georgia law generally limits punitive damages to cases where the defendant exhibited willful misconduct. These damages are rarely awarded, but your attorney will discuss whether or not they’re appropriate in your case.
Why you shouldn’t just accept the insurance company’s offer
When dealing with truck accident claims, insurance companies are generally more concerned with their bottom line than your recovery. They’re likely to offer an initial settlement, but this amount is likely to be much lower than the actual value of your claim.
Before accepting an offer, it’s vital that you speak with a qualified Albany truck accident attorney who will review the details of your case and help you determine the true value of your claim. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair settlement that meets your needs.
We’ll help you receive maximum compensation
At Shrable Law Firm, we’re committed to helping people who’ve been hurt in truck accidents receive maximum compensation for their losses. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll an accident can take on victims and their families, and we’re here to help.
A majority of truck accident cases are settled out of court, however, if we can’t reach a favorable negotiation with the insurance company, our Albany truck accident attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial and fight for what you’re entitled. Trial experience is essential in these cases, and our team has the skills and resources to handle complex claims.
As your case moves forward, we’ll keep you informed every step of the way. We want you to understand the process and know that we are doing everything possible to obtain the compensation you need to move your life forward.
Injured in a crash? Our Albany truck accident lawyers are ready to help.
Truck accidents can leave victims with serious injuries, tremendous medical bills, and the need for long-term care. When a negligent truck driver or company is responsible for the accident, you have the right to seek compensation.
When you turn to The Shrable Law Firm P.C., you can trust that our Albany personal injury lawyers will handle your case with the utmost care and compassion. Don’t wait to get the help you need—contact us today at (229) 349-6291 to discuss your truck accident case and learn how we can help you.
We offer free consultations and charge nothing unless we win your case, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get the justice you deserve.
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